Cars, trucks, and other vehicles use hydraulic hoses in several places to allow movement and contain pressure in a specific system. Brakes, power steering, and other systems may have combination lines of hydraulic hoses and steel tubing that need replacing occasionally, and knowing what to look for is critical.
Any hydraulic hose used on your vehicle needs an inspection to ensure it is in good condition and is safe to use. It is critical to check the hose for cracks in the outer casing, separation of the rubber hose from the steel ends, or leaks on the rubber or steel portion of the hose.
A hydraulic hose with fluid leaking out can also pull air into the system. The air will cause pockets inside the lines that affect the fluid flow, and, in systems like brakes, the reduced performance could make the car hard to stop.
In a power steering system, the air pockets can reduce the ability to turn the car or truck effectively, causing handling issues. You may experience a loss of control if the situation is severe enough. The inspection process is not overly challenging and is not required daily, but inspecting the hydraulic hoses is essential when the vehicle goes in for service. The tech already has the car or truck on the lift, so checking all the hoses is simple and can prevent a problem if there is damage that you did not know was there.
Replacement hydraulic hoses must be high quality and able to do the job intended. When buying a new hydraulic hose, take a minute to look over the part carefully while you are still at the parts store.
The rubber hose should be strong and flexible, allowing it to move when necessary without cracking or tearing. Some replacement hoses feel like plastic, and while they work, they will not last as long as the higher quality hoses.
Look carefully at the ends of the hose as well. If you can, compare the threads and connectors to the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) part, so you are sure it will fit your vehicle correctly. Most parts stores will not allow you to return a hydraulic hose with fluid in it, so check them carefully before installing them on the vehicle.
If you can't find hoses that you are comfortable with at a local parts store, you may want to consider checking with the dealer in your area or having an automotive hydraulic shop make the hoses for you. The cost of custom hoses will be a bit more expensive, but in some applications, they are a better solution.
Call an auto parts shop to find hydraulic hoses for your vehicle.